2011 Audi RS5
Get ready for some raucous Audi awesomeness, America. The Audi RS5 Coupe has just been confirmed for your driving pleasure. The only bad news: it won't get here until 2012. In the meantime, you can put your spare cash to use with the just-priced $161,000 R8 Spyder 5.2 quattro.
Powered by an up-rated version of the 4.2-liter V-8 found in the regular R8, the front-engined coupe cranks 450 horsepower to all four wheels while looking better than just about anything with two doors. OK, so that may be a strong statement, but there's no denying the S5/RS5's good looks. It hits our shores in 2012--but Audi hasn't said when in 2012. Let's hope it's early in the year.
A seven-speed S tronic dual clutch gearbox handles cog-swapping duties, and a new center differential in the standard quattro all-wheel drive system delivers the power to the ground. All-in, the 3,803-pound RS5 shoots from 0-62 mph in 4.6 seconds and barrels on to reach a top speed of 174 mph. In other words, it's about the same as the M3 Coupe, but a little more powerful.
Fuel economy is surprisingly good, as is fairly common with V-8-powered sports cars, scoring 21.8 mpg in the European combined average. That's a solid mark for a car delivering this balance of performance and luxury.